Registered Nurses

ANZSCO ID 2544

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
294,000
Future Growth
13.9%
Weekly Earnings
$1,937
Full-Time Share
50%
Female Share
89%
Average age
43

Summary

Registered Nurses provide nursing care to patients in hospitals, aged care and other health care facilities, and in the community.

Tasks

  • assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating nursing care for patients according to accepted nursing practice and standards

  • working in consultation with other Health Professionals and members of health teams, and coordinating the care of patients

  • providing interventions, treatments and therapies such as medications, and monitoring responses to treatment and care plan

  • promoting health and assisting in preventing ill health by participating in health education and other health promotion activities

  • answering questions and providing information to patients and families about treatment and care

  • supervising and coordinating the work of Enrolled Nurses and other health care workers


Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow strongly
  • is likely to reach 331,200 by 2026.
  • Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
13.9%
(or 40,400 jobs)
From
290,800
in 2021
To
331,200
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 221,400
2012 234,000
2013 240,400
2014 237,600
2015 260,200
2016 267,400
2017 279,800
2018 276,200
2019 302,400
2020 298,800
2021 290,800
2026 331,200

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 50% of people employed as Registered Nurses work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 16 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 41 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,937 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,608
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,367

    Median hourly earnings are $51, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Registered Nurses All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,937 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Health Care and Social Assistance
96.7%
2
Public Administration and Safety
1.2%
3
Education and Training
0.8%
4
Administrative and Support Services
0.5%
5
Other industries
0.7%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

31.3% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

25.5% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

20.5% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

8.0% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

9.8% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.4% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.0% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.5% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Registered Nurses All Jobs Average
NSW 31.3 31.6
VIC 25.5 25.6
QLD 20.5 20.0
SA 8.0 7.0
WA 9.8 10.8
TAS 2.4 2.0
NT 1.0 1.0
ACT 1.5 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
43
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
89%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Registered Nurses is 43 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 89% of the workforce. This is 41 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Registered Nurses All Jobs Average
15-19 0.2 5.0
20-24 5.7 9.3
25-34 24.9 22.9
35-44 22.3 22.0
45-54 23.5 21.6
55-59 11.7 9.0
60-64 7.9 6.0
65 and Over 3.7 4.2
Median Age 43 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A bachelor degree in nursing is usually needed to work as a Registered Nurse. Alternatively, some people who already have a university qualification, undertake a Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) degree.

Registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is required.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Registered Nurses All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 15.8 10.1
Bachelor degree 61.7 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 14.4 11.6
Certificate III/IV 4.5 21.1
Year 12 2.2 18.1
Year 11 0.3 4.8
Year 10 and below 1.0 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Registered Nurses who are caring, empathetic, reliable, with strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 63%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 61%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 59%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 57%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 57%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 57%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 57%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 55%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 54%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 54%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 54%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 54%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 52%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 48%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 46%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 45%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 45%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 43%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 41%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 39%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 84%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 73%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 63%

    Therapy and counselling

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  • 59%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 58%

    Medicine and dentistry

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  • 52%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 52%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 49%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 48%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • 46%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 44%

    Philosophy and theology

    Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.

  • 44%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 41%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 36%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 35%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 34%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 30%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 27%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 21%

    Foreign language

    Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

  • 19%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 71%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 70%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 68%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 66%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 61%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 59%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 59%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 57%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 55%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 55%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 55%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 54%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 54%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 50%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 48%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 48%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 46%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 46%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 45%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 41%

    Trunk strength

    Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 82%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 79%

    Helping and caring for others

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.

  • 79%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 78%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 70%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 69%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 67%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 67%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 66%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 65%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 64%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 64%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 63%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 60%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 56%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 55%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 49%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 48%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 47%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 40%

    Leading and encouraging a team

    Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 81%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 67%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 52%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 29%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 24%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 90%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 86%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 76%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 76%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 69%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 67%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 98%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 98%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 98%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 96%

    Disease or infection

    Be exposed to disease or infections.

  • 95%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 95%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 92%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 92%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 90%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 90%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 89%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 88%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 86%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 83%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 82%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 80%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 79%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 79%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

  • 79%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1141.00 - Registered Nurses.


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